Presbyterian Church in Ireland ‘saddened’ by Church of Scotland’s same-sex marriage stance

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The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has reaffirmed its position on same-sex marriage following the Church of Scotland’s announcement that it would take a more liberal stance on the matter.

The church condemned the moves of the Church of Scotland and said that it was “saddened” by the more progressive stance that it would take.

In a statement, the Irish church said that they remained opposed to marriage equality.

A spokesperson said: “Many people in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will be deeply saddened at this week’s developments in Scotland, which seems so obviously at variance with the traditional biblical understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman.”

They added that they would move forward by basing their policies on Scripture and refusing services to LGBT couples.

“The Presbyterian Church in Ireland affirms that clear position, which is based on the teaching of Scripture, and as a result, our ministers are not permitted to conduct, or to assist in leading, services of marriage for same-sex couples,” the spokesperson added.

The Church of Ireland did not comment on the decision made by the Church of Scotland, but insisted that it would “continue to uphold its teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The Church of Scotland made a groundbreaking decision to apologise for its historical treatment of gay people and begin working on acceptance of same-sex marriage earlier this week.

The General Assembly of the Church voted in favour of a motion which would apologise “individually, corporately and seek to do better”.

As well as issuing apologies, the Church will be making moves towards conducting weddings although Ministers and Deacons will be able to refuse officiating the ceremonies “as a matter of conscience”.

Reverend Scott Rennie, a gay minister who was controversially appointed in 2008, said the concept the Church could recognise its failing towards gay people was “one of the most positive and hopeful things I have read in a report to the General Assembly in many years.”

The reverend, who has repeatedly urged the Church to reconsider its opposition to same-sex marriage, added: “It recognises, at last, the diversity of people that make up the Church of Scotland, and Scotland at large.